Tallapoosa River Basin Numerical Nutrient Criteria For Wadeable Streams

A project funded by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management

To assist the Alabama Department of Environmental Management develop numerical nutrient (P and N) criteria for wadeable streams.

Analyze and quantify statistical or probability relationships between water chemistry & physical data, selected biota data, environmental data (light, vegetative cover, geological features, etc.) based on specific stream monitoring data collected or approved by ADEM.

Determine whether the numeric levels at which N and P nutrients are beneficial and at what levels they become detrimental to aquatic biota and designated stream use in the Tallapoosa River Basin can be determined by analysis of data provided by ADEM or from prior research data.

Recommend alternative methods that may be used if numeric values can not be determined from available data analysis.

Responsibilities of the AU Center of Excellence for Watershed Management (AU-COEWM): The AU Water Resources Center contracted with ADEM on behalf of the entire AU-COEWM to accomplish the following specific tasks:

Project facilitation:
Assist ADEM in identifying and convening the appropriate parties, scheduling and conducting meetings of the parties involved, developing agendas, explaining the objectives, and summarizing/communicating the findings of prior work from Alabama and other states which may be relevant to this project.

Data consolidation and assimilation: Compile and digitally archive relevant data from a variety of sources including much prior research and volunteer monitoring data from Auburn University and the Alabama Water Watch Program.

Data gap Identification and making sampling recommendations: Analyze existing data and future data collection plans and make recommendations to ADEM about data gaps that need to be resolved to ensure the greatest probability of success in accomplishing the ultimate goal of developing legally defensible numerical nutrient (P and N) criteria for wadeable streams that will be acceptable to EPA. NOTE: This contract does not include any additional field data collection directly by AU.

Data analyses and metrics development: Determine the most appropriate statistical analysis tools to accomplish the objectives and use those tools to analyze the ADEM approved data sets.

Presentation by Sam Fowler at the 2010 AL Water Resources Conference